Posted tagged ‘Shower’

“Our pets are our family.”

September 12, 2016

The den is my refuge from the summer heat. The windows face north and west so no sun hits the room until late afternoon. Until then, the room stays relatively cool. Today, though, the room was cold. It needed a bit of the sun. I had left the windows open, and the cold night air had lingered. My arms were cold so I put on my sweatshirt. I love needing a sweatshirt.

I have no obligations today, no chores and no lists. For the sake of hygiene, I will take a shower. I might even change my bed, but that may be going a bit overboard.

Yesterday was sit on the couch and watch sports day. First were the Red Sox who beat Toronto to go up 2 games. David Ortiz hit another crucial home run. I clapped and cheered. It’s a good think I have no neighbors. The Patriots were without Brady and were not favored to win. They did win 23-21, a squeaker. It was a good day for Boston sports.

I saw vultures in Ghana. They were big, and they were ugly birds. They used to walk around the open courtyard of the family compound. Nobody seemed to care so I didn’t. Once there were two of them. Toddlers walked around them and were totally unafraid. If I had gone near those toddlers, they would have screamed. They would have been totally afraid of my white skin. It gave me pause.

My pets are old. Fern and Maddie are almost 18, and Gracie is almost 12. They sleep a lot. The cats sleep the most as cats are wont to do. Gracie is the most active. She goes out her dog door, does her business then runs around the yard. She comes back with spit on her muzzle from opening her mouth when she runs. That sounds gross, but it isn’t or maybe it isn’t because Gracie is my dog. Boxers drool when food is around. Gracie makes bubbles. That takes talent.

“Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.”

July 12, 2016

The weather is glorious this morning. It is sunny, still and warm. The street is quiet. Last night the street was filled with kids, noisy kids. Gracie went to the door to see what was going on. She found it boring so she went back to the couch and fell asleep.

Yesterday I finally planted the flowers which have been sitting on the brick walk for nearly two weeks. I filled the front step pot and three pots for the deck railing to replace the ones the spawns broke. By the time I was done, I wasn’t fit for social interaction. Sweat poured down each cheek and my hair was soaked, but I didn’t mind. I felt accomplished. I even swept the step and walkway. It was a productive afternoon.

Today will be nonproductive. I have to go to the library. It’s the big event of the day. I’ll take my shower later, the second big event. I never mind days like today. I figure most of my life before retirement was spent being busy every day so I have earned idle time. I have come to love an empty dance card.

All my animals, the two cats and the dog, are considered elderly by the vets. I’m thinking I might just be in the same category. Fern takes four medicines a day and the dog takes one. Maddie would also take one if she weren’t so feisty. I take more than all of them.

I don’t see many people, but my friends and I keep in touch by calling each other. The other day it was my friend Maria who called. She and I have been friends for almost sixty years. I saw her three or four months ago for the first time in a long time, but our connection has stayed so strong it is always as if we had been together a day or two before. We have so many stories starring each other, and we laugh every time we tell them. They never get old. When I taught, I used to spend just about every summer traveling, usually in Europe. I’d be gone four to six weeks. Those summers always went by in a flash. Traveling does that: makes the days short and quick.

My next trip is back to Ghana for my third visit. The two and a half weeks will be gone in the blink of an eye, but I’ll hold close everyone I see and every place I go. Ghana is also home for me.

Where thou art – that – is Home.

June 6, 2016

Yesterday I chose to do little. I took a shower for the sake of cleanliness, but that was it for constructive. Today I go back to the old list and change my bed and do laundry then I’ll need a new list. I’m not all that enthused about doing anything so the new list will be short. Outside might just be the only item. I have chairs to clean and lights to fix, and being outside might make doing work a bit easier.

It’s noisy right now. I hear hammering and wood being piled. I suppose in the scheme of things they aren’t very loud, but this is generally a quiet place. Dogs do bark and kids do yell but that’s it. The bird songs tend to be the loudest.

Usually all three animals are here with me when taking their morning naps. The only one here now is Maddie and she is roaming. Fern is in the living room and Gracie is in her crate. I can hear her snoring. If I move around, Gracie sticks her head out to see where I’m going. She’ll follow me if it looks interesting enough. Gracie is never far from where I am.

When I went to Ghana, it was the first time I ever lived alone. It took time to be comfortable living alone because I couldn’t just pick up the phone and chat or drop over to visit. Here I was trying to adjust to a new culture and a new country so being lonely and homesick at the same time felt crushing. I had to figure ways to deal with it. I wrote letters, some of which were never sent. They were filled with my feelings, my sense of failure and my wondering if Ghana was right for me. I ached for letters from home and ran to the staff room to check my box at least twice a day. I also concentrated on figuring out how to speak English so I could be understood by my students. I gave myself until Christmas. Come to find out, that was more than enough time. I adjusted to speaking English slowly with an emphasis on letters like t in better or letter. My students were catching on as well. The more they heard, the more they understood. I started going to the market and shopping for food. It connected me to the town and the people. They stopped seeing me as simply the white lady. Now I was madam, the teacher at the training college. I used Hausa, the language Peace Corps had taught me. The Ghanians were delighted.

I began to feel I was home, a different home but still home. I stopped running to check the mail. Sometimes I ever forgot for a day or two. I read in the evenings or wrote letters about my day to day life. Every one of those got sent. I loved being in Ghana.

” It takes a long time to grow an old friend.”

June 1, 2012

After the heat and humidity of yesterday in particular, today feels a might chilly. The sun is shining but there is a breeze, and the temperature is only 64°.

I love weekday mornings as they are always so quiet. The only sounds are the birds and an occasional car driving by. My get ready for summer activities are almost complete. All the deck window boxes are filled with herbs and the clay pots have flowers. The vegetable garden is full; a few squashes took the empty spaces. The deck has been swept for about the fourth time, and the only cleaning left is the table and a few spots on the chairs. I need to get tubing for my fountain then I can start it running. Once that is done the pageantry can begin. The final pieces will be taken to the deck to assume their rightful spots. First will come the plastic flamingo dressed for summer in its hula skirt and lei. Then the very last piece will be brought from his winter quarters. With flags and triumphant music accompanying this move, out will come the gnome, the Travelocity gnome, who will sit prominently on the deck by the fountain looking like a complete Ozymandias without the sneer. Then and only then can the deck season begin!

Tomorrow my friends Michelle and John will arrive. They live in Ohio and are driving here touring as they come. Michelle and I were in the Peace Corps together. I sometimes stayed with her in Kumasi, Ghana’s second largest city, on my way north. I always felt like Country Mouse visiting City Mouse. I remember taking a shower in her apartment and finding two faucets: one was for hot water. I was amazed. She had hot water all the time with the turn of a faucet. My hot shower lasted until the flow of water in the pipes warmed by the sun was gone. I always tried to wash my hair under the warmed water as the first blast of cold water on my head was always a shock even though I knew what to expect. Michelle came to Bolga once, and her memory is of being wet from her shower and lying on the bed under the ceiling fan hoping to feel even the tiniest bit of a cool breeze. I always took my shower just before bed, never toweled off and went to bed still soaked from the shower. It was easier that way to fall asleep in the heat.

When I went back to Ghana last summer, I understood Michelle and the heat, but air conditioning had come to Bolga; however, I still didn’t have hot water. That came in a bucket.